Significance of “dwelling” well. Part 3

Finally, I am getting to one of the lessons I believe I am learning about dwelling.  Our first impression, feeling, or reaction to anything and everything is the first “opportunity”. 

Lesson 1:  Everything starts as an opportunity.

I just spent a lot of time asking the Lord in prayer what this first – lesson – really is.  To be transparent,  I had no clarity at the beginning of writing that dwelling is related to a series of opportunities.  This is an exciting new insight for me and I hope you will see for you as well. 

I believe opportunity is the better, but maybe still not the best, term because that is what we have in the Lord.  I believe opportunity describes well the situation at the very begging of everything. 

Ok, here is your first opportunity of this blog post.  What situations do not start as opportunities?  I honestly can’t think of any at this moment and I would like your input.

The reason I believe this idea of opportunity is so important is because the next step sets in motion how we proceed.  I believe we can nearly always stop and change “directions”, but in general how we start leads to how we continue.  Too often we only stop when damage had been done. 

I am confident most of us would agree with what I just shared, but I don’t believe we realize the significance of this truth. 

Let’s use the example of every day as a new beginning.  Regardless of our first thought in the morning: a busy day, did the alarm go off on time, what is that screaming, what is that pain, etc., we begin the day with opportunity. 

I believe too often we don’t respond to the first opportunity each day with purpose.  If we realized that everything begins with opportunity we will be more intentional with our next step in everything, every day.

Here is my concern.  If I don’t grow to realize each beginning is important, then we lose the change to begin well.  If we begin well, we will tend to “dwell” well.  If we begin poorly, …

So, what can we do?  We have only one limitless option – ask the Lord to teach us this lesson.  Imagine being able to respond well to every opportunity, every beginning.  Imagine being able to dwell on what is good and true, on the Lord.  I pray now for you Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians – Ephesians 3:14-21. 

Let’s learn to dwell well in response to every opportunity. 

(Please don’t hesitate to comment, I want to hear anything including constructive criticism.)

Significance of “dwelling” well. Part 2

Remember the V-Rod motorcycle I told you about, I sure do?  Let me pick up the story and share more about the importance of dwelling well.

If I had chosen to keep dwelling on the V-Rod; researching about it, getting pictures of them and putting them where I would see them often, and generally thinking about owning one,  I probably would have ended up buying one.  Since owning a motorcycle is not a sin, this may or may not have been a problem.

But what about dwelling on something that is sin-worthy?  What about FEAR?  This is one of the most destructive topics to consider though lots of others will be explored including: lust, pride, money, people, sports, etc.

1 John 4:18 says that “There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love.” (HCSB)

Wow, what a verse.  It sounds like we either love or fear.  What is your first response to this verse?

Does this verse motivate and inspire you immediately to cast off all fear in order to live according to love or to feel some version of defeat?  If you recognize your first feelings were on the side of negativity you are not alone.  I encourage you to write down, don’t wait, your best definition, in as much details as possible, of your first feeling as you read the verse.

Fear is a dangerous and deceptive emotion when debilitating.  It is natural to every human as it protects us from dangers: lions, bears, etc.  A healthy fear keeps us focused and aware, but doesn’t keep us from proceeding wisely.  Unhealthy fear keeps us from proceeding and traps us.

In the first post I shared the key question regarding dwelling.  How does dwelling on something affect us spiritually?  Let’s keep this question in mind as we proceed, because what we dwell on either leads to benefits or consequences.

Fear starts off helping us, but if we then dwelling on the object of our fear, it typically becomes all consuming.  Fear leads to either benefits or consequences.  I believe dwelling is a key principle determining the outcome.

Do you tend to dwell on the object of your fear?  Do you often become unable to make a decision out of fear?  Remember, maybe memorize, 1 John 4:18.  Dwell on love and fear will be kept in its proper place.

Please come back soon for the next part.

Significance of “dwelling” well. Part 1 of ? ( I really don’t know.)

Over the last six years as a church-planting pastor I have learned so much about just about everything.  Maybe mostly I have learned how little I know, how much I still have to learn, and how slow I am at the deeper processes of learning.  (I am fighting the urge to explore the last statement, but will leave that for future posts).  Literally the Lord continues to “renew” (Romans 12:2), redefine, my understanding of all things spiritual.  (Again, a whole can-of-topics for me are being put on my writing shelf regarding the last sentence.)

The lesson I want to try to focus on with this blog is dwelling.

I love bicycles, cars, and just about any mechanical device.  God made me an engineer and later called me to ministry.

One day in Moscow, Russia my attention became fixed on one of the most beautiful and mesmerizing machines I have ever seen – a Harley Davidson V-Rod motorcycle.  Though I grew up in a family that vilified, too dangerous, motorcycles other than for off-road use, I could not quit looking at this motorcycle.

At first glance I was in awe.  At second glance I began to notice the machine and it’s details.  For the next minutes, I could have stared at it for an hour, I was drawn deeper and deeper into it’s clutches (pun not intended).  I was hooked and for the first time in my life considered buying a street motorcycle.  Even today if I were to seriously consider buying a street bike, it would be a V-Rod.

How did the V-Rod become my standard for a street motorcycle?  Good question you ask, but that is not the right question, sorry.

I believe the more important question is how does dwelling on something affect us spiritually?  The motorcycle is just a beautiful machine to me, but it could have become much more and here-in lies the danger or the benefit.

What we dwell on either leads to benefits or dangers.

Now that I hope I have your attention, stay “tuned” for the next part.